I take it all back. I apologize. I have been wrong for years now, and I have to admit it: You need a new computer. You need a faster laptop, a bigger LCD and a smaller netbook. You need a new computer for you, one apiece for your family members, and another for your home network. Get an iPad for your iDog, an iPhone for your iInfant, and get two or three wireless routers to manage it all, so you’re never out of reach.
There’s no shame in it any longer. I won’t harass you about the environment or materialism or social manipulation any more, I promise. I will not use the words “fanboy,” “brand imprinting” or “maximalism” again, unless it’s in a context outside consumer electronics.
You should think of a computer as a biennial — or even better, biannual expense, much like winter clothes or charcoal for the barbecue. Pick any regularly observed holiday in your country of residence, mark out an even six months on either end, and call that New Computer Day. You can build up the excitement by festooning your abode with any number of calendars or decorations — just like before Christmas or Easter or Mother’s Day. Or maybe even better, you should use another new computer to count down the hours until the next one arrives.
Computers are disposable, like diapers and tissues, and should be thrown out at the end of a good run of six or eight months. The hardware decays, gets slower, grows unstable and unreliable. And everyone knows the software is designed to last for only one or two startups. Sort of like running shoes or brake pads or light bulbs: After some use, you’re safer and smarter to go buy new ones.
And of course, I apologize again for misleading you all these years with suggestions that out-of-date systems are viable alternatives. That’s obviously just not true, and I committed a grave error in saying that. Get out there now, pick out a brand-new machine, and plunk down the US$2000 or so it costs to bring it home. That’s less than US$200 a month really, and I know people who spend more than that on baseball tickets or gasoline or dairy products.
What you do with the old one is not really important any more. But as I mentioned, computers are ephemeral and disposable, so probably the best idea is just to toss it out.
I patiently await the fruits of your ignorance. 😈